Jul 25, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
    
2024-2025 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog

Master of Special Education, MS.Ed.


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Department Contact:

Director:  Dr. Melissa Peppetti, mpeppetti@francis.edu, 814-472-3068

Accreditation Statement:

Saint Francis University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. 

The teacher preparation and certification programs offered at Saint Francis University at the undergraduate and graduate level are approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA, 17126; (717)783-6788. PDE approved preparation programs are designed to prepare and certify educators to teach or serve in the schools of the Commonwealth. www.education.pde.gov    

Program Description:

The Master of Special Education degree program is designed for teachers and other individuals interested in pursuing an advanced degree in special education. The program provides advanced study for elementary and secondary special educators interested in increasing their professional knowledge base and skills. The program seeks to facilitate students’ ability to be analytical, reflective decision-makers of special education content, theory, practice, and pedagogy. Courses are designed to link educational theory and classroom practice for application in students’ current or future professional settings.

The Master of Special Education program is a 30-credit program that will prepare graduate candidates to work in advanced areas of special education. The program will provide students with the knowledge and understanding of working in special education from implementing curricula to meeting individual needs of students with disabilities at an advanced level. The Master of Special Education program is offered online for convenience and flexibility of the working professional. Candidates will take core courses in research, law, curriculum, as well as electives which focus on specific populations of complex learner needs (autism, brain injury, related services such as OT and PT). The Master of Special Education program offers a candidate the ability to extend their knowledge by completing specialization electives in order to complete an autism endorsement (36-39 credits) or special education supervisory certification (39 credits). Candidates interested in the Master of Special Education must possess an Instructional I teaching certificate in special education (prek-8 or 7-12).

Student Learning Outcomes:

Curriculum and Instruction 

Students will demonstrate the understanding of curriculum and instruction design elements in K-12 learning environments by utilizing researched-based best practices to evaluate teaching and learning.  

 

School Law and Advocacy  

Students will demonstrate how to apply systems thinking in decision making situations in K-12 settings and align to Federal, state, and district requirements.  

 

Research Approaches and Principles in Education 

Students will demonstrate how to structure problems for solution and frame issues for resolution using data sources for K-12 education.  

 

Ethics and Special Education  

Students will demonstrate how to operate in a fair and equitable manner with personal and professional integrity that is culturally relevant to a K-12 environment.  

Admission Criteria:

Students must apply for admission into the program. The Graduate Education program will review all applicants throughout the year and candidates will receive an acceptance letter from the Director. In order to be considered for application, applicants must submit the following information:

  • Online Application
  • A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 is required. If candidate’s GPA is less than 3.0; he or she may be accepted on a provisional basis while taking up to nine (9) credits. The student must obtain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the first nine credits to be admitted to the program. If these requirements are not met the student will not be admitted to the program.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work completed;
  • Copy of Instructional Certificate (must be in Special Education);

Admission Deadline:

The program has rolling admission.

Technical Standards or Essential Functions:

Saint Francis University is committed to the principle that no qualified individual, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or denied the benefits or services, programs or activities of the University, or be subjected to discrimination by the University as required by the Americans with Disability Act.  The Center’s Office of Disability Services assists eligible students in receiving basic services as determined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disability Act. Every effort is made to arrange appropriate academic accommodations for students who experience physical or mental disabilities. Students are required to provide appropriate documentation to the accessibility coordinator upon request of the accommodation. 

Progression and/or Retention Criteria:

  • Students must complete their degrees within five (5) years of their initial enrollment.
  • A minimum average of 3.0 must be maintained throughout the program. If a student falls below the 3.0 requirement he or she will be placed on academic probation for the next semester. Student’s continued eligibility in the program will depend on the GPA in the semester following the low GPA. If the student’s GPA does not go above the 3.0, after being placed on probation, the student is subject to dismissal from the program.

Graduation Requirements:

A candidate for graduation must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Complete all requirements for an approved program of study.
  • Complete a minimum of 30 credits of master-level education courses depending on which specialization option they choose.
  • Achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better.
  • Submit a completed Application for Degree form at least one semester prior to graduation date.
  • Satisfy financial obligations to the University.
  • Students must participate in an exit interview.

Other information to include, related to this program:

Instructional Level II certification  

If you have been teaching in Pennsylvania on a Level I certificate from 3-6 years of satisfactory service and have earned 24 post-baccalaureate credits, you can apply for a Level II certificate through the PDE. The following conditions must be met: 

*6 credits (EDUC 515 and EDUC 560) must be associated with your area(s) of certification and/or must be designed to improve professional practice;  

*You must have three years of satisfactory service on a Level I certificate, verified by the chief school administrator of the employing school entity; 

*You must have completed a PDE induction program verified by the chief school administrator of your employing entity. 

Estimated Completion Time:

Typically 2 years of full-time study or 2+ years part time

Total Credits Required:

30 credits

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